I was asked earlier this week why I would be such an advocate for Ecosystem Gardening and creating welcoming habitat for wildlife in our gardens when there is so much wrong in the world. And my simple answer:
Advocacy and activism are great, but action is even better!
The long answer is a bit more complicated.
Yes, I know that our food supply is in grave danger as Monsanto tries to control the whole thing and introduce their nasty GMO seeds all over the world. I’m thankful that so many other countries have banned GMO food and demanded that these products be labeled. I wish the US would wake up before it’s too late.
I also know that Scotts Miracle Gro continues to sell toxic chemicals that kill wildlife. Scotts Miracle Gro has also pleaded guilty to selling pesticide-tainted birdseed.
I have a sneaking suspicion that even though the National Wildlife Federation announced that they would terminate their partnership with Scotts Miracle Gro, that nothing has really changed, that they continue to partner with this company and fully expect that none of us will notice.
Polar Bears are in grave danger as the polar ice melts and their future is more and more uncertain.
We continue to clear cut the rainforest at an alarming and unsustainable rate.
Our oceans are becoming a giant trash bin, we’re killing our reefs, overfishing, and allowing toxic chemicals to enter our streams and waterways and end up in the ocean, polluting and killing everything in its path.
Global climate change is happening right in front of us, and yet we refuse to take responsibility for our own actions.
Unarmed teenage boys are murdered on the street for no other reason than the color of their skin.
Women’s health care may become a thing of the past.
And the list goes on and on, endlessly reminding us that we have to work harder, we have to keep protesting, we have to keep advocating for change. We have so much work to do to make the world a better place, we simply cannot give up now.
Advocacy and activism can be incredibly powerful engines of change. Just recently we have seen so many organizations make unwise choices and then back down in the face of public outrage.
We watched Bank of America back down. Also Verizon, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and right here in our own community the National Wildlife Federation has (supposedly) backed down too.
Action is required right now to protect our ecosystems, wildlife, and the native flora that supports them.
And the immediate benefits of creating welcoming habitat for wildlife in your garden cannot be denied. I can think of no other activity that one can see the “If you Build it, They Will Come” principle in action.
Add a wildlife pond and immediately see Dragonflies. Plant Butterfly host plants and watch egg laying happen right away. Add a lot of native plants and watch the birds come in search of insects to feed their chicks.
When you begin to welcome wildlife into your Ecosystem Garden and learn to share your space with them, you are helping protect all of the wildlife of your local area. When you learn to make healthier choices in your garden, you are helping to make your local natural areas and waterways better places for wildlife.
Your wildlife garden has a vital role to play in restoring ecosystem services, creating healthier environments, and protecting wildlife.
When we create welcoming habitats for wildlife in our gardens, we learn to love and respect the birds, butterflies, and other wildlife of our areas, and we are more likely to want to protect their natural habitats.
Someone one said “We cannot protect what we do not know,” and that is the underlying goal of Ecosystem Gardening, to teach you to know and love the wildlife around you. Once you know these amazing and beautiful animals, you will work to protect them and their habitats.
So start taking action right now. The birds, butterflies, pollinators, and other wildlife are counting on you!
For some easy ways to start, check out my latest Healing the Wounds to Wildlife post at Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens.
And don’t forget to share your successes in your wildlife garden here in the comments. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Check out my new free online course Ecosystem Gardening Essentials, 15 free lessons delivered to your inbox every week, teaching you to garden sustainably, conserve natural resources, and create welcoming habitat for wildlife in your garden.
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